Fred's Diner

Penelope Skinner

Fred's Diner

In Fred’s American Diner on a busy English motorway, people dream of better lives. You’ll find friendly staff and get service with a smile, but not far beneath lies a deadly secret. 3.4 out of 5 based on 6 reviews
Fred's Diner

Omniscore:

Location Chichester
Venue Theatre on the Fly
Director Tim Hoare
Cast Paul Hickey, Cush Jumbo, Olivia Poulet, Raad Rawi, Tracey Wilkinson Laurence Dobiesz
From August 2012
Until September 2012
Box Office 01243 781312
 

In Fred’s American Diner on a busy English motorway, people dream of better lives. You’ll find friendly staff and get service with a smile, but not far beneath lies a deadly secret.

Reviews

The Stage

Nicholas Hamilton

In this subtle, carefully plotted play, Skinner creates a plausible relationship in which abuse is able to take place but go unnoticed by those around. Paul Hickey is convincing as the callous boss and father, who does just enough for his gruff manner and inappropriate comments to be interpreted as charm. Cush Jumbo does justice to the depth of Melissa’s dilemma, as she struggles to extricate herself from the father who abuses her but whom she nevertheless cares for.

20/08/2012

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The Sunday Times

David Jays

Everyone’s in the wrong place and time; wriggling free of the past and waiting on the future. It’s like The Iceman Cometh, but with cupcakes. Skinner’s men are largely a sorry lot — bad dads and worse — but her women are a tonic.

26/08/2012

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The Observer

Clare Brennan

Skinner's dialogue has verve and a sharp-edged humour. This gives her characters a complexity, beautifully developed by the performers, that elevates them above their too obviously functional roles. The dramatic construction, however, is shaky. Tim Hoare's firm direction minimises the wobble but, still, too much time is spent on the setup: backstories are clumsily introduced; hints about the possible outcome are as subtle as the diner's glaring neon signage.

26/08/2012

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The Evening Standard

Fiona Mountford

Chloe (terrific Olivia Poulet), a seething mass of Japanese pink nylon wig and dreadlocks ... could be the dropout younger sister of BBC2 comedy Twenty Twelve’s glorious PR guru Siobhan Sharpe, down to the last “Totes” and put-upon sigh.

20/08/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Jane Shilling

Skinner’s verbal adroitness is always joyful, and the production sets off at a tremendous pace on a wave of well deserved laughs. It is when the emotional spectrum darkens that flaws begin to emerge. Skinner’s characters, initially so persuasive, settle incongruously into stereotype as her plot skids off-course on a slick of heavy irony and veers headlong towards a soap operatic crash landing.

17/08/2012

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The Times

Sam Marlowe

Themes of justice, equality, opportunity and exploitation bubble away, along with the ever-brewing coffee on the counter, and there’s a stimulatingly acrid undertaste of ire in Skinner’s depiction of a world inside the diner and beyond in which women are still so often expected to smile, serve and, as Fred puts it, to be “easy on the eye”. But the play is also about love and there is intense tenderness, especially in the quasi-maternal bond between Heather and Melissa.

21/08/2012

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